For the past couple of years, General Motors has been slimming down operations. They have pulled out of Europe after selling their Opel and Vauxhall subsidiaries, and they've also left several markets in Asia with Indonesia being the most recent one.
They've also shut down a couple of assembly lines too both in and outside of their home market of North America. Now, they're letting go of yet another one, and that's their Russian assembly line. That's because their partner over there, Avtozav, has announced their plan to buy out the US automaker's share over there.
General Motors has agreed to sell their share to Avtozav, which will effectively end their assembling days in Russia. The Tolyatti plant, which is the subject of this buy out, currently produces the Chevrolet Niva. Avtovaz says that they will continue building the Chevrolet-badged version of the small crossover until stocks run out and eventually revert the Niva back to being badged as a Lada.
However, this doesn't mean Chevrolet is totally leaving the Russian market, at least for now. Only the assembly of Chevrolet vehicles will stop there but their products will still be continued to be offered there. In Russia, Chevrolet has three vehicles officially sold there, namely the Tahoe, Traverse, and Camaro, all of which are made in North America. Cadillacs are also sold in Russia as well.
Pundits say that the weakening Ruble (Russia's currency) and inflation are just some of the reasons why auto sales in Russia are declining. Both foreign and domestic manufacturers haven't been spared. As a result, some foreign automakers are rethinking their strategy for the Russian market. With General Motors letting go of their assembly line, the US automaker will be able to trim down costs by simply having distributors, rather than dealing with (and spending for) day to day operations of an automotive plant.